Sooner or later, you’re bound to experience a water leak somewhere in your home. The usual culprits are shower pans, hot water heaters, washing machines and clogged plumbing—any of which can cause water damage.
Quickanddirtytips.com recommends finding the source of the leak and shutting off the water to it. Every drain and water-using appliance has a shut-off valve, so you need to know where and how to access it. In the worst case, you’ll have to go outside to your main water supply and shut off the water to the whole house.
Minimize water damage by removing as much water as possible by mopping and blotting the saturated area. If you have a friend who owns a shop-vac or you’re able to rent one, use it to drink up as much water as possible.
Remove at-risk valuables and furniture with fabric or wood from the room, if possible. Wipe down cabinets and other furniture that have gotten wet. Place aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpet. Gather as many electric fans as possible to direct airflow toward damp spots. Open doors and windows to let in fresh air.
Call your homeowner’s insurance and tell them the problem, what the damage may be, such as soaked carpet or hardwood floors, and what you’ve done to minimize it. They may refer you to a technician who specializes in remediating water damage. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mold growth can occur within 48 hours of saturation, so act quickly.